I’ve got to admit, I look pretty good with a backpack strapped to my back. Wandering suits me.
As you may have deduced, I am a dreamer. I have big plans. I have spoken openly about my plans to move abroad when I finish up with my Bachelor’s Degree at Flagler college. My plan is to teach English somewhere in Asia. This idea hasn’t settled well with everyone that I know but overall, people have been supportive. I’ve already completed my TEFL Certification and I’ll be graduating this time next year.
The ball is rolling. But what happens when a wanderer starts settling down? What happens when plans start to unravel? When I first started down this path, I was gung-ho. I photographed a ton of my belongings and even started to sell some of my artwork. But after that, things started to come to a halt.
What has happened?
- I moved. I went from being rent free to suddenly having more bills to pay. This meant all of the money that I intended on setting aside for this journey was now going towards rent and utilities. After spending a year at the condo, I’ve moved again. And in 6 months time, I’ll be unpacking boxes once more. In a sense, I already have become a nomad.
- Love happened. The idea of packing up and leaving is a lot more feasible when you’re going at it alone. It’s hard enough summoning up the courage to leave everyone you know behind, but it’s even more difficult to ask the same of someone else. We’ve spoken about my intentions and Wires has told me I should still go but I can’t imagine going alone. Being apart for just a week was hard enough, I can’t imagine a full year.
- Health issues. This isn’t something that I talk about openly. I have an anxiety disorder. After my explosion, I suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I have been a hot mess since. I wasn’t able to go into my backyard (where the accident happened) for more than half a year. It would take about 14 months before I was able to be around fire again. To this day, any time someone catches me off guard, or I hear an unexpected noise, I become paralyzed with fear. Anxiety has become part of my every day life. I have been prescribed medicine but there are times when it simply isn’t enough. There are times where it becomes so strong that it makes me physically ill and causes abdominal pain.Situations that wouldn’t have phased me in the past now cause me to panic. I can’t deal with large crowds of people, or even having a group of people standing around me when I’m sitting down.
I don’t deal well with the unknown. Even things such as travelling can set me off. You should see me go through security. Until I get this under control, a feat like going abroad is not feasible right now.
Even worse, the anxiety has taken a toll on my health. I don’t sleep as well as I used to. I toss and turn, have nightmares or have problems falling asleep because I’m worried about something so minute that it wouldn’t bother the average person. The anxiety has caused me physical pain even.
- Puppy breath. I got a puppy! Her name is Lady Belle and she is the cutest thing in the world. Having her will make travelling around a bit harder.
None of this means that my TEFL adventure is over. There’s no telling what will happen in the future. I still hope to go overseas to teach for a bit… it’s just a matter of when and where at this point. The only thing that has really been ruled out, at this point, is my RTW trip. Which, as much as that sucks, it isn’t the end of the world. You better believe that I will still be getting out there and seeing the world… just in a different manner than I intended to.